Meaning and context

“In Context” in particular to me is something that directly affects the meaning of things, actions, life and human condition (individual and social), and, how could it be otherwise, Art.

The discussion is whether things have meaning in themselves, or whether, on the contrary, its meaning is something that we give, either individually or collectively and culturally. “Nothing makes sense out of context” is the motto of the blog. Does it? Can we understand things isolating them of what is happening around them?

In art there have always been various philosophical currents. About the issue of meaning, one side defends the aesthetic sense of a work by itself as the sole object of unchanging absolute beauty. The opposite, however, is the aesthetic value and the beauty of an Artwork based on the context in which this work was conceived.

That is, in the second case, when we judge the beauty or value of a work, we don’t only consider the technique, but also the time, what came before, what comes after, the life and figure of the author, the social conditions that allowed create the work…

Factors such as time, history, author, period, style, cultural background… take special relevance in the meaning we give to that work. Remember that Picasso and his work, is not only famous for his technique and his undeniable personality, but also because his work is special only in the context in which it was conceived. 50 years before or after could not make perhaps possible that his works were precisely as they are. I am convinced that external factors are largely those that enable something being precisely that “something”, and nothing else.

Also social values change over time, culture, and even within the same society, in each person itself. Which means the courage, the meaning of friendship, are not absolute concepts. Plato was a defender of the difference between the real ideas by themselves, intelligible, and ideas that are imperfections of the real ones, which are those that we can perceive. Therefore he was in favor of both, a perceptive truth we can know where context determines the meaning of things, and one of absolute truth, an idea with complete and unchanging meaning.

But think a little. An exercise I like to do and recommend is to detach yourself. That is, try to see ourselves as if we were watching through a window, out of our own action. Don’t you really realize that every action we do, every word, even every thought we think, it is determined by everything around us? That all of this makes sense only because there is yesterday, tomorrow, a culture, a social situation?

If there are blogs, it is because people read them, because there is Internet, because there are things to say… A blog is nothing, and at the same time it’s something because means something to us.

This won’t be the last time I will talk about this topic. That was only an apéritif.